My Amish Home: Windy welcome to wonderful season

"Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. A stone is heavy, and the sand is weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both." Proverbs 27:1-3

'Vine to Wine': Dinner and history are served

Robert Allerton grew grapes but not, as far as anyone knows, for wine-making at his estate south of Monticello. So he likely would be pleased by the "Vine to Wine" event Saturday at his mansion.

Allerton, who bequeathed his estate to the University of Illinois, wanted it to be used for research and education and as a public park.

My Amish Home: Very happy that spring's within sight

"But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." 2 Timothy 2:20-21

Meg Makes: More cook-offs, more winning recipes

I've somehow earned a reputation as a local food contest judge, one I'm all too happy to perpetuate.

This involves attending cook-offs, testing dozens of tasty dishes and scoring them. The best part: I often walk away with killer recipes to share with all my readers.

Field forecast: Some indicators hint at lower crop yields

DEWEY — After three quality growing seasons, don't be surprised if conditions are less than ideal in 2016.

Darrel Good, professor emeritus in the University of Illinois Department of Agriculture and Consumer Economics, isn't a meteorologist, but he said many signs point to less-than-ideal weather this year for growing corn and soybeans.

Sandra Mason: Take the purple plunge

Add more color to our diet. Eat our veggies. I doubt chocolate brown and potato-chip beige are what dietitians have in mind. Dark green, red, orange and even purple vegetables are more than willing to do their part to provide color. Eggplant is not the only veggie with a preponderance of purple. Many other vegetables present passage into the passion for purple.

My Amish Home: Battling the snow with warm wishes

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise." 1 Corinthians 3:16-18

Meg Makes: Homemade Hostess CupCakes brighten all birthdays

My best friend, Erin Lippitz, is a baking genius. Every year for my birthday, she delivers cupcakes to my office.

This year (and not for the first time), I requested her homemade version of Hostess CupCakes. I can't begin to describe how good they are, but read on for a general idea.

Champaign council clears way for bringing alcohol with new liquor licenses

CHAMPAIGN — Patrons at Champaign nail salons, "paint and sip" classes and restaurants can now bring their own bottle of alcohol, after the Champaign City Council unanimously approved two new liquor license types Tuesday night.

The licenses will allow patrons to bring as much as a bottle of wine, three bottles of beer or up to three ounces of liquor per person.

Today's Special: Bacaro mixes things up for barbecue pop-up

CHAMPAIGN — Downtown's Bacaro Restaurant is known it for its fine-dining options and contemporary American cuisine with a lean toward Italian options. "We try to stay within those realms," chef/owner Drew Starkey said.